Stephanie S. Staff Picks


 

Reincarnation Blues Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399178481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Del Rey Books - August 22nd, 2017

Milo is on his 9,995th life and only has 5 more chances to achieve perfection. The lives he leads take place both thousands of years before our time and also thousands of years after (and of course, many in the middle). Part historical fiction, part science fiction, part romance - this book is absolutely heartbreaking, undeniably hilarious, and easily found a spot on the list of my top 10 favorite books ever. Think Neil Gaiman meets Tom Robbins meets David Mitchell, and expect to be hooked from beginning to end.

-- Stephanie


The Changeling Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812995947
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Spiegel & Grau - June 13th, 2017

How do we protect our children? Our loved ones? Ourselves? And how do we find our way back to each other after failing to do so? Yes, this is a modern retelling of the changeling fairy tale, but it is also loaded with love, folklore, social criticism, and a little bit of horror while remaining steadfastly literary throughout. LaValle asks a lot of difficult questions in this novel. He also writes like an angel. You fall into his prose from the beginning - and you'll desperately want his characters to succeed despite knowing that things will go very, very wrong first.

-- Stephanie


The Folly of the World Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316190350
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Orbit - December 18th, 2012

Both witty and gripping, this is easily the best piece of historical fiction I have ever read. The Saint Elizabeth Flood hits Holland in 1421 - drowning thousands of people and entire towns. It is in this flooded realm and amid an ongoing civil war that a cut-throat, a con man, and a feral girl weave a (very) dark and intoxicating tale. It's so good that I missed my subway stop twice!

-- Stephanie


The Manual of Detection Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143116516
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Published: Penguin Books - January 26th, 2010

Espionage, secrets, perpetual rain, and a criminal mastermind plotting to put an entire city to sleep; this books feels like a meticulous dream. If you like good ol' detective fiction with a heavy dash of surrealism then this is the book for you.

-- Stephanie


Palimpsest Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780553385762
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Published: Spectra Books - February 24th, 2009

In "Palimpsest," Valente's characters unexpectedly find themselves traveling to a strange and wonderful city in their dreams. The catch is they can only get there by having sex with other travelers before falling asleep. As the city begins to feel more and more like home, their struggle to get there and stay - so that they won't have to wake up and return to our world - gets harder. "Palimpsest" is the most visceral and erotic portal fantasy I've ever read - the desperation of every character is as palpable as if it were your own. Valente is better known for her Middle Grade books ("The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making" etc.) but this adult novel is not to be passed over.

-- Stephanie


River of Stars Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780451416094
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Published: New American Library - April 1st, 2014

Think George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" but set in the East and with a smaller cast of characters. Fast-paced, memorable, and beautifully written.

-- Stephanie


A Natural History of Hell: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781618731180
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Published: Small Beer Press - July 19th, 2016

Unsettling, poetic, and playful - Jeffrey Ford has an otherworldly talent for turning the familiar into the strange and the strange into the familiar. He is probably writing your dreams. If you are looking for something dark and thoughtful and completely unlike anything else you've read, look no further than these 13 stories. (Particularly good for fans of Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket, and China Mieville)

-- Stephanie


The Dark and Other Love Stories Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780393285895
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 14th, 2017

These are love stories about the parts of us that are a little bit dangerous and scared of our own potential - the parts of us that we forget about during the day. Willis never fails to find something hard in something soft or coax something sweet out of something bitter. This collection is rife with nostalgia for every questionable decision made out of boredom. I read it in one day.

-- Stephanie


The Neverending Story Cover Image
By Michael Ende, Ralph Manheim (Translator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780140386332
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Puffin Books - January 1st, 1993

This is a book within a book that tells the stories of two ten-year-old boys. Atreyu is brave an on a great quest to save Fantasia from the "Nothing" - a disease that literally turning his world into nothing. And Bastian, who is insecure and hiding from reality - who will be called upon to do what Atreyu cannot to save and rebuild Fantasia. Funny, creative, smart, and full of unique characters and adventure; you will wish this book actually doesn't have an ending.

-- Stephanie


Crush Cover Image
By Richard Siken, Louise Gluck (Foreword by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780300107890
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Published: Yale University Press - April 11th, 2005

Aptly titled, "Crush" juxtaposes the lighthearted anxiety of having a crush on someone against the crushing weight of losing them. This book of poems is simultaneously delightful and absolutely devastating. Siken can write an ending line unlike any other poet, and his words will feel like a weight inside you.

If you enjoyed Ocean Vuong's "Night Sky With Exit Wounds" then definitely read "Crush."

-- Stephanie


Every Heart a Doorway Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780765385505
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor.com - April 5th, 2016

Gentle yet brutal and charming yet unsettling, "Every Heart a Doorway" follows the inhabitants of a sanctuary for children who have stumbled into other realms and fairy lands - only to one day be cruelly returned to our world. Part fantasy, part realistic fiction, and part horror novella, this Gothic charmer is a love letter to anyone who has ever felt out of place.

-- Stephanie